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Kenya in the running for Showmax’s 10 live action films

By Winnie Mabel February 6th, 2023 2 min read

African streaming giant Shomax, on February 6, 2023, announced a call for 10 live-action films from an exclusive number of countries. They include Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana.

In their instructions, Showmax said the pitches for the 10 films should be from first-time directors who are either citizens or residents in the aforementioned countries; and this is in a bid to find new talent in the film industry.

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Showmax further clarified that a first-time director is a person who will not have directed a film or TV series episode of 40m or longer; but allows one with experience directing other formats, from shorter films and series to commercials.

“All official Ghanaian, Kenyan, Nigerian and South African languages are welcome. The final films should be more than 40m, in line with the SAFTAs Best Made-for-TV Movie Award category.  Making your first film is a key turning point in any director’s career.

So this brief is another way we are trying to empower local filmmakers to tell their own stories for their own communities in their languages. We’re looking for authentic stories that will resonate with our local audiences. Popular genres like romcoms, family dramas and thrillers are always welcome,” said Yolisa Phahle, CEO of Showmax and Connected Video at MultiChoice.

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The call for live action films, in partnership with the Joburg Film Festival, requires directors to submit their works on  Entries will close on 1 April 2023 and the selected projects will be announced in the second half of 2023; and screened on Showmax in 50 countries across sub-Saharan Africa in 2024.

Further instructions on the pitches set for submission were that pitches should take the form of a video pitch in English of no more than five minutes.

This video pitch should include short bios of the writer, director and producer; a concise summary of the story, including the ending; an introduction to your lead characters; and a discussion of your chosen genre and stylistic approach, with visual references.

In its statement, Showmax said its audience prefers local content, with seven of the ten most streamed titles in South Africa, eight of the top 10 titles in Kenya and Nigeria, and nine of the top 10 in Ghana last year being African.

Also read: Award winning Kenyan film ‘Kati Kati’ to stream on Netflix